In 2007 I was director of a small environmental advocacy organization in Chicago. In early spring that year, friend Greg Lochow and I set out to make a couple short films about the city’s southeast side, known to be part of the broader Calumet region.
One film is about a missing link or gap in a long regional bike path. The other tells the story of a ‘lost lake’ sealed off and hidden from the people.
For each, we moved through a complex geography, combining video with still shots to tell a story. We tried to draw out the key points of the issue to convey a clear community goal. So we placed each story, each project, in the midst of its difficult setting, showing its promise for the revitalization of a rough post-industrial region.
For ‘Goin’ Up The Gap’ we were joined by bicycle advocate Steve Buchtel on his bike (he’s eyeing that milkshake at the end). For ‘The Lost Lake’ we had to engage in trespassing, which is a risky endeavor and really fun and interesting on the Southeast Side. Greg’s editing skills made sense of a mass of raw footage. Both takes were a blast.